Saturday, January 31, 2009

Yes, Mallory, Teachers Are Weird!

Recently, my sister Mallory commented on the weirdness of her professors and how all teachers must be weird. Yes, Mallory, teachers ARE weird.

Take my high school English teacher for example. I loved her to death, but she had some weird tendencies. Homer was the classroom ghost. The smiley face on the closet mirror was done by Homer. Homer was also responsible for any papers that we turned in, but mysteriously disappeared. Staplers - a constant in any classroom; however, in this classroom they had to be kept in separate drawers because if put together they would mate. Oh, and did I mention the pet rocks?

My high school biology teacher was also a weird one. I loved this teacher as well. She loved animals. She had a pet boa constrictor roaming her house, ferrets, and igaunas. Yes - all in the same house. One time, she brought the ferrets to school and let them roam freely around the room. Let's just say I spent the entire class curled up in my seat so as to not let the smelly creatures crawl up my legs. What other teacher would let you play double dutch with the large intestines of a fetal pig? We had a blast that day in class.

Physics teacher was in love with Mariah Carey. Madly in love. She was the screen saver on his computer.

Chemistry teacher: Gullible! We had a water fight one day during a lab and when he realized that we were all covered in water we told him the sinks were broken. He even called maintenance. (Jen, ask Nate if he remembers that one.) Yeah, I feel bad now, but man did we have a good time. I didn't think I learned anything from this man because half the time it was teach yourself chem, but his notes got me through college chemistry.

Spanish - Oh, Senor! No comment.

7th grade history teacher had a stuffed turtle named Wombat.

6th grade teacher raised chinchillas and brought us pencils topped with their fur.

My zoology professor purposely got stung by a jellyfish because he wanted to see what it felt like.

My mentor in the biology department in college refused to sign my major until I watched his five-minute screen saver. I saw deer, owls, raccoons, and every other known animal in my parents backyard, but apparently it was mesmorizing to him. He was also a garage picker who brought his finds to class for us. I wonder what his basement looked like?

Now, you might be saying. Hey, aren't you a teacher? And the answer is yes, but I entirely admit I am weird. How else does one survive teaching seventh grade? Every once in a while, one must break out in a jig, talk to yourself, make a cheesy reference, speak funny, etc. I'm not denying being weird. We are all weird. And yes, Mallory, that means you too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Joy is...

Joy is waking up each and every morning to the man of my dreams.
Joy is feeling my little girl dance "The Nutcracker Suite" in my belly.
Joy is never paying full price.
Joy is knowing truly generous people.
Joy is trying a new gluten-free recipe that rocks.
Joy is finding humor in words like hooplehead, radonkulous, and crapadoodledo.
Joy is finding friends who love everything about you - good and bad.
Joy is becoming totally engrossed in a book, losing all your senses, and falling madly in love with a vampire.
Joy is finding the blessings in each and every day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On Being Pregnant

I've come to the realization that there really isn't just one book for new mothers. In fact, I have about three different books. When Matt and I found out we were going to have a baby, it was Matt that bought the book What to Expect When You are Expecting. I've enjoyed reading the book mainly to learn the little milestones that the baby is making each week. Reading the book has been a cinch since I basically skipped hundreds of pages because they did not apply to me.

Currently, I'm 28 weeks along, and I've realized that the only book that will detail what I've gone through is one that I write. So here's to detailing my pregnancy so far.

1. In the beginning, I gained all my initial weight in my hips. Whoever said they could wear their regular clothes well into their sixth month was insane in my book. Maternity clothes became the staple of my wardrobe at around 8-10 weeks.
2. The best maternity clothes can be found at Ross. I paid $8 for my favorite pair of jeans with an elastic waist.
3. The books do not talk about itchy stomachs until much further along. I felt like I needed to swim in Calamine lotion starting in the third month. Also, the books do not tell you what products works best for the itchies. I learned that Palmer's just makes me itch more, but Aveeno Oatmeal lotion rocks.
4. No books tell you that waiting to recognize the first kicks is unbearable. I felt like I was the only one on my birth board who hadn't felt the baby move. I felt like something was wrong, even though I knew everything was fine. I felt my little girl move in the 21 week while watching the movie Twilight. Matt finally felt her move in my 25 week on December 27. I had a stomach virus/flu the day before, so she was overly active on the 27th. She never stopped moving. I wish we could have captured the look of awe in Daddy's eyes.
5. Back pain is discussed at great lengths in the books, but nothing is mentioned about hip pain until much later. Once again, I felt like a weirdo. Let me just say this: the movement of joints, bones, what have you in the hip area is extremely painful. There were times that getting up out of chair made me want to cry. Sitting, standing, lying down....nothing helps this pain except......MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS TOPPERS. Love it!
6. This little one does not like porketta sandwiches. Oh, how I wanted porketta when we were home for Christmas. My mom had it at my baby shower, but with the stomach virus, I was just not up to eating anything other than toast. I ate some the next day and had heartburn for three days. Heartburn is another not so fun part of pregnancy.
7. Preggo brain makes you forget even the simplest of things. Yesterday I was typing on the computer and wanted to respond to someone. Well, I had to go the bathroom, and when I returned to the computer, I had completely forgot what I was going to say. Just a little example. I've forgotten plenty of things
8. My new belly throws me completely off balance. One of these days, I am seriously going to just topple over. Early on I kept tripping over the cord to the overhead projector in my classroom, but now I just tip for now reason whatsoever.
9. I'm not going to go into the details of some other not-so-fun aspects of pregnancy.
10. Being pregnant is a BLESSING!
11. I love lying in bed at night feeling her punch, kick, dance, flip-flop, and head butt me. I also love feeling her move in the early morning as well.
12. I love being able to 'see' my belly move when she moves.
13. Seeing her for the first time on the ultrasound was the most amazing thing for Matt and me. No words can express what it means to see her heart beat.
14. Learning she was a girl sure helped us in the baby name department. I'm not too keen on Hamish, Arn, or Onsted. I'm definitely putting them in her baby book though. We are still working on her name.
15. If they give you a choice between fruit punch or orange glucola, pick the fruit punch. It wasn't that bad at all.
16. Sometimes the baby wants an extra doughnut! Haha...and I don't feel guilty about eating it either.
17. I love my belly.
18. I love shopping for everything baby. Well, we haven't had to buy many clothes thanks to the generosity of others, but cloth diapers are the cutest things ever made for babies. I can't wait to see her little bum in one of them.
19. I love how my soon-to-be obsolete belly button freaks Matt out.
20. Did I mention that I love being pregnant?

An Official Snow Day

Yes, it is official. We have a snow day; however, there is absolutely no snow on the ground. In fact, there hasn't been any snow on the ground since we got the phone call at 5:30 a.m. Matt and I are still laughing about it being from Michigan where there are REAL snow days. According to the news, they canceled schools because of the winter storm warning that has stated we are supposed to get snow sometime today. We think there won't be any snow at all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snow Day?

Virginia is waiting for snow. According to the news, we are supposed to get two to four inches of snow between tonight and tomorrow. Now growing up in the U.P, I've been through my fair shares of snow days, but I'm highly skeptical of waking up to a school cancellation tomorrow. We've lived here going on four years, and I've only seen a dusting covering the grass. Don't get me wrong - I'd love a snow day. It would just look a little different from the ones in my past. Instead of throwing on long johns, snow pants, parka, gloves, hat, scarf, and boots to build snow forts, snow angels, throw snowballs, sled, or ski, I'll stay inside and off the roads because everyone knows that people down here DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT know how to drive in any type of weather, especially snow. Since they never see it, they tend to stare off at the accumulation now on the side of the road instead of the road itself. You think I'm kidding? I was driving with a woman who did this while it was RAINING! I can't imagine what she would do with snow.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Not Enough On My Plate

We must not have enough on our plate. You would have thought we would think that preparing for the birth of our first child would be enough. And it is. We have 87 days to go until the tentative due date. Maybe she'll be early....good grief or maybe she'll be late, but either way we still have so much to do. Now on top of preparing for our little girl, we have decided to pursue purchasing a new home. Well, let me rephrase that. We will be putting our current home on the market and once it sells (hopefully sells), then we'll look for a new home. It just seems like the right time. When we moved here, there was absolutely no way we could afford a house which is why we settled on a townhouse. Now with the market the way it is here, we can afford to own a real house without neighbors attached on both sides.

This pattern is nothing new for us. When we got married in 2005, we did all of the following within the same month: got married, went on our honeymoon, moved to Virginia, bought a house, and started new jobs.

Now we've been given a new challenge. I'd like to think of them as blessings.
  1. We are blessed with preparing for the birth of a new life - our little girl. Accumulating all the stuff a new baby needs is time consuming and costs $. Thank goodness for sales, buying used, and the kindness of friends.
  2. We are blessed with professionals who can help us prepare for childbirth, parenting, breastfeeding, and baptism. Tack all of this on our to-do list in February.
  3. I am blessed to be able to stay home with our little one for the first five months of her life.
  4. However, I don't want to think about preparing substitute plans for 2 1/2 months of that time.
  5. We are blessed with having the opportunity to even consider buying a home when others around us are losing theirs.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Writing Prompt: Choose a poem you like. Take the last line and use it as the first line in your own poem.

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
by Debbie
Nothing gold can stay,
I wouldn't want it any other way.
July 9, 2005
We celebrated the sacrament of marriage.
April 11, 2009
We anticpate the birth of our little girl.
Nothing gold can stay,
I wouldn't want it any other way.
Each day brings new blessings,
new challenges, and new happiness.
A new child brings much love.
Nothing gold can stay,
I wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm Not a Dork!

Writing prompt: Ask a loved one to describe you using 6 words.

Let me preface with the conversation I had with my husband before I sprung this prompt on him. While Matt was in the kitchen, I asked him if he wanted to see my belly button. No, I don't have a picture for you to see, but it basically is to the point where I don't have one anymore. Matt scrunched up his face and said no because it was too creepy. Well, needless to say, I was feeling less like asking him this prompt after his refusal to look at my belly button. What wife wants to get circus freak for a description?

Here are Matt's six adjectives for me:
1. Nice He's just getting started. I think I am a nice person. Sure I have my days and my students may call me mean, but at least my husband sees the real me.
2. Funny (sometimes) Is funny a synonym for idiot? I think that is why the (sometimes) is attached to his word. Sometimes, I actually do funny stuff. Sometimes, I do stuff that just shows I'm an idiot. Who gets Little Bunny Foo Foo stuck in their head? Who gets stuck in the sheets and blankets on a daily basis?
3. Attractive Woohoo! The belly button didn't scare him off that much. I'm not a circus freak in his eyes after all.
4. Loving Ahh!
5. Talkative Yes! I love to talk.
6. Sleepy This includes my pre-pregnant self. Matt finds it utterly amazing that I can fall asleep anywhere and at anytime. I can be sitting upright in the recliner or in bed with the lights on and the tv blaring. Hey, when I'm tired, I'm tired.

As soon as Matt had his six words, I started laughing.

Matt: "What?"
Me: "Well, the one word I thought you would use is not on the list."
Matt: "What word was that?"
Me: "Dork!"
Matt: (laughing) "Well, it should have been."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Latest Obsession

Thanks to Sera, I found a new blog that is right up my alley - Mama's Losin' It. Ever since attending the Tidewater Writing Project, I try really hard to just write. I've been pretty good about writing random things because I get the opportunity just about every day in my classroom when I have my students write for 3-5 minutes each day. Lately, I've been slacking off because my life is being consumed with preparing for a newborn. My husband might disagree and say my life is consumed by my time on the computer, but we can agree to disagree.

Anyway, back to my original thought. This new blog has writing prompts and choices at that. I feel renewed just thinking about it and hope that I'm back on the track of writing daily because I truly enjoy it.

Today's Prompt: Describe your latest obsession.

I have to admit I have two obsessions currently - cloth diapers and decorating our little girl's nursery. To be honest, the cloth diapers obsession came from left field. Looking back, I never would have imagined I'd be using cloth diapers, but it just seemed natural since Matt and I try to be as "green" as possible. We recycle what the city allows (which is practically nothing compared to Michigan), recylce electronics, donate instead of throwing away, use a clothesline instead of the dryer when possible, unplug electronics, etc. You get the picture I'm sure. My fascination with cloth diapers came after reading posts on and a friend from high school. I became intrigued and fell in love with how adorable little ones looked in them. My husband was on board as well. Since I was a newbie, I knew I had a lot of learn. In fact, I'm still learning which is why it is an obsession at the moment. Who knew you couldn't use just any regular old detergent? Bamboo vs. Hemp? Pocket vs. All-In-One? What brand should I use? As overwhelming as it was in the beginning, I have to say with the help of Jen and the April '08 ladies, I feel a sense of calm instead of apprehension towards this new adventure. Now, I just need to finish buying inserts and covers.

My second obsession is in the beginning stages. Currently, the only decorating we have done in her nursery is painting the walls a light purple. No crib, no changing table, no decoration that says, "Hey, this is a baby girl's room!" I also was at a loss for crib bedding. Nothing had the colors I wanted. Matt's mother kept asking what our theme was for the nursery. Matt kept answering, "What theme? We don't need a theme?" However, I had a picture in my mind of a beautiful nursery that looked like a nursery, but wasn't a cookie-cutter replica from Babies 'R Us. Luckily, I found dragonfly bedding with the colors I wanted - light purple, light yellow, and white. It arrived today, so after we get the crib, I can finally get a move on in her room.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's Monday!

It's definitely a Monday! Today was our first day back to school after a short hiatus due to Christmas and New Year's Day. However, since we have to leave the holidays out of discussion at school we call it "Winter Break". Not sure if they know what winter is in Virginia, but I'll take any time off I can. Today we started all over again. The kids were relatively calm and quiet - SHOCKING! I can tell it is Monday because nothing went as planned today. I started my novel studies unit for the second marking period today. I read a different book with each bell (more my my sanity so as not to read the same chapters four times every day). I had it planned to read aloud to two bells because I didn't have the audio versions, and have the tape or cd read to two other bells. Here is what my day looked like.

Bell 3: They are reading this book by Anne Rinaldi. It's a historical fiction book about the life of Patrick Henry. It is a great book for anyone - not just 7th graders. Since it doesn't have an audio, I knew I would be reading this aloud to them. No big deal.

Bell 4: I had an audio version for Canyons all ready to go in the tape player. I hit play...nothing. I hit fast forward....nothing. I even tried rewind....nothing. I switched tape players....again nothing. I ejected the tape and found the thing eaten by my tape player. My co-teacher started reading aloud to the kids while I fished out the tape, rewound it manually, and tried again only to have it eat the tape all over again. I gave up. We will now be reading this book aloud as well.

Bell 5: No problem since I didn't have an audio to begin with.

Bell 6: I had an audio version for Charlotte Doyle on cd. I figured nothing could go wrong with a cd version. There were no scratches or anything. In fact, the cd case looked brand new. Picture this: kids are ready to start reading, I hit play, the tape says, "An audio recording of Perfect." Perfect? I checked out Charlotte Doyle. I even took the cd out just to double check. Sure enough, the cd is labeled The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, but it is definitely not reading that book. So once again, I read the novel to the class. I'm hoping the public library has another copy of this book. I'm checking tomorrow.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome 2009 - Make the Time

I'm not one for making New Year's Resolutions! I've made plenty in the past, but never fully committed to them. Who really wants to give up the good food to lose that extra 10 pounds? One year, I actually bought a membership to the YMCA, and that worked well until about March when the motivation wore off and I grew weary of waiting in lines for the treadmill.

This year I'm just settling for the resolution to MAKE THE TIME! With the birth of our little girl soon approaching, (April 11 if she follows the time table), I want to really appreciate every little moment of being pregnant. I'll take the extra time to fall asleep each night just to feel a few more kicks. I'll make the time to spend more time with Matt because soon enough there will be three of us. I'll take my time to watch my belly button transform into an outty. I'll make the time to learn everything I can in order to be the best mommy. It may seem like I'm addicted to the computer, and maybe I'm a little addicted to, but I just want to be prepared. Tomorrow, I'm registering us for some baby classes at the Lifestyles Center - because we both need to be prepared.

Happy New Year's! Wishing you all a blessed 2009! I know this is going to be a memorable one for my family.